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Pennypack Trail Extensions Improve Access to Regional Rail

    • Pennypack Trail Connections

Before yesterday's opening of the north and south extensions of the Pennypack Trail in Montgomery County it was very difficult to get to or from the trail via SEPTA. The only trailhead was almost in the dead center of the trail on the narrow and twisty Moredon Rd in Lorimer Park. It wasn't impossible, you could get could get close via the 24 or 88 bus but the on road distance and difficulty to get to the faster and more direct regional rail trains didn't make the trip worthwhile. 

The new section up to Welsh Road is now linked to the Bethayres Station on the West Trenton Line via a sidewalk that begins at the bridge over Pennypack Creek. Biking on Huntingdon Pike and Welsh Road requires a tolerance for riding in fast traffic without shoulders.

From the Bethayres station:

  • Follow the sidewalk at the north end of the station lot up to the signal at Chestnut St
  • Cross Huntingdon Pike and turn right to follow the narrow sidewalk
  • Continue on the sidewalk around the Bethayres Market along Welsh Rd
  • The sidewalk ends at the bridge near the trailhead.
  • DIstance is 3/4 of a mile or a 15 minute walk

The new bridge at the south end of the trail crosses a deep ravine and Shady Lane and eases the trip from Fox Chase Station on the Fox Chase Line. The on road bike route from Fox Chase is less stressful than from Bethayres but there are also sidewalks for pedestrians.

From the Fox Chase station: 

  • Head north to the Rhawn St exit
  • turn left then right at the Oxford Ave/Pine Rd intersection if you are walking cross the Rhawn St here
  • Turn right onto Huntingdon Pike (to the left of Dunkin Donuts) for two blocks and turn right on Blake Ave
  • Blake Avenue bends left and becomes Rockledge Ave
  • Turn right onto the trail at Rockledge Park
  • Distance is 8/10 of a mile or 15-20 minute walk

Pennypack Trail Ribbon Cutting Tomorrow

It's been only 5 months since Montgomery County broke ground on the extension of the Pennypack Trail in Huntingdon Valley, where County Commissioner Josh Shapiro declared that "we will open this trail in the fall". Much to our delight the Commissioner kept his promise and so once again we will be at another splended ribbon cutting.

Like the Doylestown Bike Hike event last week the County will be opening two trail segments. 

  • Huntingdon Pike to Welsh Rd
  • A new pedestrian bridge over Shady Lane

Please plan to attend the ribbon cutting Friday November 14th at 2PM in the trailhead parking area at the intersection of Welsh and Terwood Road. Attendees will then either bike or take a shuttle bus to the new pedestrian bridge for a second ribbon cutting.

    • Montgomery County Media Advisory

Doylestown Bike and Hike Cuts The Ribbon on Two Trails

    • Neshaminy Creek Ribbon Cutting
    • Destination Peace Valley Ribbon Cut
    • Destination Peace Valley
    • Destination Peace Valley
    • Neshaminy Creek Doylestown Township
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A blustery wind did not deter an enthusiastic group of Bucks County residents and public officials who cut the ribbons on two trails this afternoon in Doylestown Township and New Britain Borough.

Attendees departed by bus from Covered Bridge Park in New Britain to the newest segment of the Neshaminy Creek Greenway located off Upper State Road in Doylestown Township. The .7 mile trail parallels the creek and connects the 202 Parkway Trail. After the ceremony the group was bused back to Covered Bridge Park for a second dedication for the 1.1 mile long Destination Peace Valley Trail along Pine Run.

Both trails are included in the 24 mile Doylestown Community Bike Hike System. The Bike Hike System is a cooperative project of Doylestown Borough, Doylestown Township, New Britain Borough, New Britain Township and Chalfont Borough.


Bike Jim Thorpe Bridge to Support The D&L

 

BIKING SEASON ISN'T OVER YET!

Show your support for completing the D&L Trail!

Jim Thorpe, PA

Saturday, November 8th

It's a big project that needs your BIG support. Help us make this critical connection to link all five counties of the D&L Trail.

Registration: $29, or $45 with bike rental.

Call 1-800-944-8392 to reserve your space.

Riders will enjoy biking the beautiful D&L Trail in the off-season from one of our newest trailheads in Luzerne County.  From there we will pedal through the Lehigh Gorge, past Rockport and Penn Haven Junction to historic downtown Jim Thorpe. We’ll ride along the Lehigh River and some of the most scenic mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Bike for the Bridge will bring riders together to enjoy this beautiful landscape and support a good cause.  Please join us on one of the last big bike rides of the season.

We know you expect the D&L Trail to be easily accessible, convenient and provide a great outdoor experience. This ride is fully supported with bike techs and water stations. Riders, and their bikes, will be shuttled from downtown Jim Thorpe to their starting destination.

Choose your option for this ride:
• 36 miles from Black Diamond Trailhead to Jim Thorpe (10 a.m. start)
• 15 miles from Rockport to Jim Thorpe (12:30 p.m. start)

All proceeds will benefit the building the pedestrian bridge. This project will help complete the D&L Trail as it crosses the Lehigh River from historic downtown Jim Thorpe to the Lehigh Canal Towpath and Weissport Trailhead.

To register for this event, please call Pocono Biking to reserve your spot:
1-800-944-8392

Registration will also be available the morning of the event.

(Online registration is not available.)

For more information, please visit our website: Bike for the Bridge

 
Tags: Event

PA awards grants to Circuit Trails

PennDOT's Multi-modal Fund

Philadelphia County

  • Delaware River Waterfront Corporation – $200,000 for pedestrian and bicycle facility improvements on Spring Garden Street between Columbus Boulevard/North Delaware Avenue and 2nd Street to enhance mass transit access and leverage transit-oriented development.
  •  
  • Schuylkill River Development Corporation – $1.7 million for Bartram's Mile, the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail, a multi-use commuter and recreational trail, along the west bank of the Schuylkill River from just south of Grays Ferry Avenue to 56th Street.

Montgomery County

  • Upper Dublin Township – $2.9 million to reduce the width of part of Commerce Drive to allow the construction of a 10-foot wide trail to connect Pennsylvania and Delaware Avenues, allowing construction of .75 miles of a section of the Cross County Trail

 

Commonwealth Financing Authority's Greenways, Recreation & Trails Program

Philadelphia County

  • Delaware River City Corporation - $150,000 for the K&T Trail
  • Natural Lands Trust - $150,000 for the Friends Hospital Conservation Easement (Tacony Creek Trail)

Northhampton 

  • Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc.- $217,375 for Lehigh Valley Trail Connectivty Project

Delaware 

  • Natural Lands Trust - $224,000 for the Darby Creek Greenway Addition

Chester 

  • East Goshen Township - $52,500 for the Paoli Pike Trail

Bucks

  • Solebury Township - $110,000 for Solebury Route 202 Gateway Trail

Manayunk Bridge Groundbreaking Recap

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Lots of dignitaries -- Congressman Chaka Fattah, Senator Vince Hughes, State Rep. Pam Delissio, Montco Commissioners Leslie Richards, Josh Shapiro and Bruce Castor; Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor Mike DiBerardinis, DCNR Deputy Secretary Flood, SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey.

Lots of smiles - 

Lots of words about partnerships, colloborations, persistence and getting stuff done!  We think Leslie Richards said it best...."This is the coolest project!"

A great day for the Circuit.  More photos here!


Philadelphia Trail Update Symposium

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What are the next big trail projects in Philadelphia? What is in store for trails near your home?

Hear the answers directly from City and non-profit development organizations that plan and build Philadelphia’s trail network. Alan Urek, Director, Strategic Planning & Policy of Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis of Parks & Recreation, and Andrew Stober, Chief of Staff of the Mayor's Office of Transportation and other non-profit partners will share updates on how trail projects are envisioned, prioritized and developed; which segments will be constructed next; and the vision for the citywide trail network.

5:30 – 6 Registration and Refreshments

6 – 7:30 Program

Please RSVP here


Circuit Exploration Report: Checking out the CVT in Montgomery County

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    • 10182014 Explore CVT
    • PECO ROW in KOP
    • KOP Inn
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    • Bill Smith Road
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For most people, the caged bike/ped bridge over I-76 (as seen in the photo slide show) in King of Prussia is the closest they have ever gotten to the Chester Valley Trail (CVT) in Montgomery County.  

The bridge opened in 2004 when the I-76 and 202 interchange was upgraded.  (The other trail bridge is Norfolk Southern's Trenton Cutoff.)  And, slowly but surely, the Chester Valley Trail has been built to the west to meet Chester County's 13 miles of trail and in hopefully in two years, will extend eastward to meet up directly with the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown. 

Currently, in Montgomery County, the eastern edge of the CVT is South Gulph Road and the westen end is at South Warner Road. As part of our "Explore the Circuit" series of rides and walks, on October 18th, about twenty of us joined Mike Stokes, Assistant Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission to see how the county was going to align the Chester Valley Trail eastward to the SRT.  

We set out on a beautiful windy afternoon from the S. Warner Road trailhead (nice parking lot with toilet facilities) and walked east, over the expressway to South Gulph Road.  We then crossed over to Bill Smith (a former Supervisor) Boulevard and took a look at the historic King of Prussia Inn (which was moved years ago from its original location.) Afterwards, we walked through the (hugely wide) PECO right of way that the trail will go through and then along Hansen Access Road.  Fortuitously, we had among our group a SETPA planner who told us that one of four possible alignments for the KOP trolley extension might also use the PECO ROW, but it won't interfere with the trail.  At the junction of Hanson Access Road and Henderson Road, the trail will go over Henderson Road on second bike/ped bridge and land on an inactive rail line.  The trail will continue up this old rail line and eventually meet up at DeKalb Street and cross the Schuylkill River on the DeKalb Bridge where it will meet with Schuylkill River Trail at the Norristown Transportation Center.  

It was a lovely walk and everyone enjoyed learning more about this much anticipated connection between two Circuit trunk trails.  Montco hopes to advertise the project in 2015 and estimates that the project will take one year to complete.  The Bicycle Coalition hopes to return next spring and host another walk of the section from Henderson Road to Norristown.  Many thanks to Mike Stokes for sharing his deep knowledge of the project, the map below and some of his photos.

    • chester valley trail extension map

Look for Rails to Trails Conservancy Trail Surveys #onthecircuit

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Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is conducting Trail User Surveys on the following Circuit trails:
 
Pennsylvania Trails
 
  • Chester Valley Trail
  • Cynwyd Heritage Trail
  • Port Richmond Trail
  • Perkiomen Trail
  • Radnor Trail
  • Route 202 Parkway Trail
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Valley Forge area) 
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Fairmount Park area)
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Schuylkill Banks area) 
  • Wissahickon Trail
 
New Jersey Trails 
 
  • Blackwood Railroad Trail
  • Cooper River Trail
  • Elephant Swamp Trail 
  • Lawrence-Hopewell Trail 
  • Monroe Township Trail 
 
There are two types of surveys with identical questions. A paper survey which can be mailed back to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy postage paid, and an online survey hosted by Survey Monkey. Paper survey forms can be found in boxes.  The online survey can be accessed via smartphone using the QR code on the front of the survey box or by using the URL contained on the "take one" card.   Look for both on these trails and fill one out!
 
Surveys will be available through at least the end of the year.

Pennsylvania Grants $2 million for the Circuit

On Friday, October 17th, Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation & Natural Resources announced $33 million in grants awarded through their Community Conservation Partnerships Program for trails, parks and open space.  Ten awards (out of 219) were for Circuit trail projects, totalling $1,995,500.  The ten projects included four for construction, five for planning, and one for acquisition.  Listed below are the ten grants awarded to Circuit trails.  Full list of all grants can be downloaded here

We offer a hearty congrats to all of our partners who received this funding!  It's terrific and we are excited that so many worthy projects are going to be moving forward!  And many thanks to our hardworking colleagues at DCNR for making these awards possible.  Thank you DCNR!!!


CONSTRUCTION

Doylestown Township, $326,000, Development of the Neshaminy Creek Greenway Trail in New Britain Borough and New Britain and Doylestown townships, Bucks County.  Work to include the construction of approximately 0.75 mile of trail and bridge to connect Upper State Road in Doylestown Township to the New Britain Train Station in New Britain Borough; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Stephanie Mason, (215) 348-9915 ext. 1033. 

Solebury Township, $500,000, Further development of the Route 202 Gateway Trail in Solebury Township, Bucks County.  Work to include the construction of a 0.3-mile trail segment from the Route 202 Connector Road to Magill's Hill Park on Chapel Road in Solebury Township; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Dennis H. Carney, (215) 297-5656. 

Phoenixville Borough, $481,900, Further development of the Schuylkill River Trail in Phoenixville Borough, Chester County and Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County.  Work to include the construction of approximately 0.2 mile of trail across the PA Route 29 Mont Clare Bridge to connect Phoenixville Borough to Upper Providence Township; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Jean Krack, (610) 933-8801 ext. 111. 

Philadelphia City, $400,000, Development of the Frankford Creek Greenway in Philadelphia City.  Work to include construction of approximately 1.2 miles of trail from the intersection of Wheatsheaf Lane and Aramingo Avenue to the intersection of Lewis Street and Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia City; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Robert Armstrong, (215) 683-0229. 

PLANNING

Chester County, $50,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options to connect the Chester Valley Trail to the Struble and Brandywine trails in Downingtown Borough, Chester County; Caln, East Caln, East Bradford, West Bradford, and West Whiteland townships, Delaware County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Brian E. Styche, (610) 344-6285. 

Concord Township, $40,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate the options to develop a 6-mile multi-use trail along the Octorara Railroad line in Concord Township and Chester Heights Borough, Delaware County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Brenda L. Lamanna, (610) 459-8911 ext. 102. 

Haverford Township, $45,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options to extend the Darby Creek Trail north to the Haverford Reserve and south to the Upper Darby Township line in Haverford Township, Delaware County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Tim E. Denny, (610) 446-9397. 

Clean Air Council, $30,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options to extend the Cobbs Creek Connector Trail - Segment B from the Blue Bell Inn at Woodland Avenue and Island Avenue to the Cibotti Recreation Center at 77th Street and Elmwood Avenue. Work to include a written, bound report. Nick Rogers, (215) 567-4004 ext. 110. 

Schuylkill River Development Corporation, $50,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options for extending the Schuylkill River Trail along the eastern bank of the Schuylkill River from Christian Street to the Grays Ferry Crescent Trail at 34th Street in Philadelphia City, Philadelphia County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Joseph R. Syrnick PE,  tel:215-222-6030-ext.102

ACQUISITION

Montgomery County, $73,000, Payment toward the acquisition of three parcels totaling approximately 16 acres along Route 422 in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Montgomery County for open space and access to the Schuylkill River and proposed Schuylkill River Trail. Michael M. Stokes, (610) 278-3729. 

Tags: DCNR

Walk the Future Chester Valley Trail in Montco

In Chester County, you can bike over 12 miles of off road trail in along Route 202, from approximately Warner Road to Exton.  But, did you know that the Chester Valley Trail is going to connect all the way to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown?  Currently, the trail is complete in Montgomery County only from Warner Road to South Gulph Road across I-76.  Montgomery County Planning Commission has federal, state, and county funding in hand to build the trail from South Gulph Road across King of Prussia over the DeKalb Street Bridge to the Norristown Transportation Center.  That project is in final design and should start in 2015. 

We've asked Michael Stokes of Montgomery Planning Commission to lead us on guided walk of the alignment of the trail on Saturday, October 18th at 1pm.  This walk will be approximately 8 miles long; from the Warner Road trailhead to Boro Line Road and back.  (We aren't walking all the way to Norristown because a bridge over Boro Line Road is still under construction.)  

This walk is free for Bicycle Coalition members and $20 for non-members (first year's membership is included). Please sign up here

    • october 18 cvt walk

Baxter Trail To Open October 14


Boardwalk opens to great fanfare

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October 1st and 2nd were momentus days for Schuylkill Banks.  A preview for 200 was held the evening of October 1st and the formal ribbon cutting on October 2nd.  After eight years of planning, studying, designing, fundraising and construction, the Boardwalk opened to the delight of thousands who came to "walk on water."  

The Boardwalk received high praise and extensive coverage.  Links to most articles can be found on the Connect The Circuit's front page under "Circuit News."  The AP story has a great quote from the Circuit Coalition's Vice Chair Patrick Starr 

Patrick Starr, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, said as he walked the trail that he didn't realize how much of a connection it made with the neighborhood.

"It transformed it into a great place that everybody wants to be at," said Starr, who is also involved with The Circuit, a network of 300 miles of trails in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. "It's opened a whole new playground for Philadelphians."


Chester County Officials Cut the Ribbon on Phase 3 of the CV Trail

    • Chester Valley Trail Exton Park
    • Chester Valley Trail Iron Lake/Exton Square
    • Chester Valley Trail Crossing Lincoln Highway
    • Chester Valley Trail
    • Chester Valley Trail Phase 3
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The wind and the rain did not dampen spirits at last week's ribbon cutting of of the Chester Valley Trail's phase 3 at Exton Park. County Commissioners, Bike Chester County, DCNR, West Whiteland Township and others were in attendence.

The new segment is only 3/4 mile long. But it connects the main trail to a long orphaned segment that stretches from Main St Exton to Iron Lake Rd and includes a pedestrian activated signalized crossing of Lincoln Highway (Business 30). As a result the trail has expanded to a length of 13 miles between Exton and King Of Prussia.

What makes the Chester Valley Trail so critical is that is in the County's main commercial corridor that is sandwiched between Route 202 and SEPTA's Paoli-Thorndale Line. As a result the trail provides a low stress non-motorized connection between the corridor's office complexes, retail establishments, residential developments and parks.

Chester County now is looking to expand further west. Design work to extend the tail up to the crossing of the Exton Bypass will begin next year. Meanwhile Montgomery County is part way through design for the four mile connection to the Schuylkill River Trail at the Norristown Transportation Center. Construction is expected to start in 2015. The Circuit Coalition will be hosting a walk through the future trail alignment on October 18. Bring your camera to take some before shots so you can brag that you walked it first.




 


Philadelphia Trail Symposium October 30

Trail Update – Building and Planning the Network in Philadelphia

What are the next big trail projects in Philadelphia? What is in store for trails near your house?

Hear the answers directly from City and non-profit development organizations that plan and build Philadelphia’s trail network. Staff from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Parks & Recreation, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, and other entities will share updates on how trail projects are envisioned, prioritized and developed; which segments will be constructed next; and the vision for the citywide trail network.

Academy of Natural Sciences

5:30 – 6pm - Registration and Refreshments

6 – 7:30pm - Program


Have a Beer with the East Coast Greenway Riders

The East Coast Greenway's annual week-long ride along a stretch of the 2,900-mile route leaves this year from Philadelphia on Sunday morning and will ride along part of the Circuit.  
 
You are welcome to join the riders and talk biking at a pre-ride happy hour this Saturday, October 4th, at the Conshohocken Brewery. (A group will be walking there at 5:45 p.m. from the Residence Inn in Conshohocken.) The Conshohocken Brewery is at 739 East Elm St.
 
40 bicyclists will head out from Philadelphia on Sunday as part of a 325-mile weeklong ride from Philadelphia to Fredericksburg, Va. on the East Coast Greenway, the urban version of the Appalachian Trail. This amazing 2,900-mile route stretches from the Canadian border in Maine and through 15 states and the District of Columbia to Key West, Florida, and the ride is a key fundraiser for the East Coast Greenway Alliance, which is coordinating the development of the Greenway.

This is the fourth annual ride, and over a dozen people have been part of it since the first group left Calais, Maine in 2011. This year, four of the riders are from the Philadelphia area.

The first day’s ride, 49 miles to Wilmington, Del., includes part of the Circuit. The group will be among the first to ride along the new Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, just ahead of the community celebration in the afternoon, and later in the day ride through the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

Key events during the week include a Monday morning press conference and photo event with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a big supporter of trails, a Monday afternoon rally in Perryville, Md., in support of a bike-friendly crossing over the Susquehanna River, and a Wednesday Happy Hour with Annapolis, Anne Arundel county and state officials.

“Every year we get to know our communities and landmarks better, exploring the Eastern Seaboard at a pace that allows us to connect with the rich history, culture and nature of the region. We bring tens of thousands of tourism dollars to the communities we visit and aim to spur further greenway development toward a healthy and sustainable future transportation system,” said Dennis Markatos-Soriano, the East Coast Greenway Alliance’s executive director.

About 60 million people live within 25 miles of the East Coast Greenway, which receives an estimated 10 million visits each year. Many cities along the trail have a bike-friendly designation from the League of American Bicyclists – Philadelphia is one! -- and users can follow the route to commute to work and school, or to run errands, or to head out on longer adventures. 

The creation of the East Coast Greenway has spurred officials at the state, county and local levels to create safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists along the route as well as to connect to other trails, leveraging their value.

The East Coast Greenway Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Durham, N.C. that is coordinating the development of this greenway, has been organizing week-long rides along the route since 2011. The first Week-a-Year ride was from the Canadian border to Portland, Maine, and the goal is to finish in Key West in 2019. 

Anyone interested in the 2015 ride can email the East Coast Greenway Alliance at info@greenway.org. More information about the East Coast Greenway is at www.greenway.org.


 

Time Lapse of Boardwalk Construction

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    • Boardwalk June 6 2014
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These pictures were taken from the lower overlook on the Connector Bridge. There is an image for each month over the course of the Boardwalk's construction starting in July 2013.  See you at the ribbon cutting on October 2nd at 11:30am!


Upcoming DCNR Meetings

DCNR Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Public Meeting – October 7, 2014

DCNR is updating its strategic plan and we need to hear from Greater Philadelphia! Where should DCNR be making investments and building partnerships?

DCNR Grant Workshop – November 6, 2014

If you are thinking about applying for a grant from DCNR – you should attend! Learn about how the application process works and how to receive the best score possible.

Tags: DCNR

The Wait Is Almost Over: Boardwalk to Open Oct 2


PennDOT Accepting Applications for the 2015-2016 Multi-Modal Fund. But Hurry!

Don't ask us why, but PennDOT is now accepting applications for 2015-2016 Multi-Modal Fund, even before the Agency has announced the winners of the 2014 Multi-Modal Fund grant recipients. 
 
That's well and good, more money is now available to fund projects including bicycle and pedestrian projects.
 
But there is just one catch:
 
The applications are due September 24th. NEXT WEEK! 
 
We strongly suggest to any local government that has already applied for the 2014 round of funding to apply again. The anecdotal history of competitive transportation funding shows that less than half of the projects will be selected. Furthermore, odds are that a lot of new project applicants will not be able to turn around an application for this very tight deadline.
 
 
 
Tags: funding